Portlandia created by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein and executively produced by Lorne Michaels returns January 4 to IFC and the crew is bringing some big-name celebrities to make appearances in season 3.
While her career has arguably gone down hill since the hit comedy series with her first name for its title went off the air, the often-annoying but always surprising Ms. Barr will have a chance to redeem herself on Portlandia this season with an age group that was probably not allowed to watch her show in its day.
Known best for being eaten by a lawyer-devouring T-rex in Jurassic Park and for his role as a sleazy, selfish People-magazine journalist in The Big Chill, Jeff Goldblum always makes any role his own. Glee was made all the better when he showed up in the tour-de-farce role as one of the two gay dads for Lea Michelle, and Portlandia will offer him even greater creativity.
HBO's Big Love provided a showcase for Chloe Sevigny's dramatic talents, yet also allowed her to demonstrate a little flair for comedy once in a while. Portlandia will surely let her unleash her inner idiot, as she has to play off both Carrie's and Fred's characters as their new roommate Alexandra.
This funny little man shows up a lot in movies and television, and he already has worked with Fred and Carrie, playing the voice of their child, T-rex, in an episode of the Simpsons. That episode married the two shows, as it brought Fred and Carrie's characters to Springfield to open a store based on Portland's famous Voodoo Donuts. Although Oswalt is too big to play a child, anything can happen on this show.
Everybody knows his name because it was always yelled upon entering his favorite Boston bar, Cheers, but George Wendt has also played dads, grandfathers and even Santa in many made for cable movies. Will he be the irascible, funny, fat man once again, or the kindly, loveable and cuddly parent or grandparent? Or does Portlandia have something else in mind for he who always shall be Norm?
This Little Britain star may be even too outrageous for Portlandia, or he may force the similarly insane Fred Armisen to ratchet up his game. This could be the best or worst guest star of the season, but either way Matt is guaranteed to push the absurdity envelope.
Fresh from Damages and Bridesmaids, Rose is better known for dramatic or at least straight-man roles. The Australian-borne Byrne has been in her share of costume dramas (Troy, I Storm the Castle) but also has shown her quirky side in such films as Wicker Park. Perhaps it is upon that role she will draw inspiration from for her guest stint on Portlandia?
This HBO veteran (Flight of the Conchords, Bored to Death) should be a seamless fit for Portlandia, having earned his hipster chops on that network and in My Boys on TBS. He already appeared in the role of Donald in the "Winter in Portlandia" episode in 2012, and one can only assume he will return as such this season. Although, assuming anything on Portlandia is always risky.
Kyle MacLachlan is used to odd roles and odder directors, having walked through the fire that was Twin Peaks a generation ago. Already a recurring character as Portland's mayor, Kyle acknowledges that "this is not Desperate Housewives" (on which he also starred) and that every shoot and every episode provides not only new surprises but also demands more creativity and input from the actors. He has already sported a soul patch as a member of a reggae band on the show - what will he do to top that this season?
Bizarre, bloody, sexy roles are bread and butter to Juliette Lewis, and while most recently seen as Tammy on The Firm, this Natural Born Killers star is capable of just about anything, and as such is a perfect fit for the absurdity that is Portlandia.
Portlandia is the place where SNL cast members go to be goofy, and for this character actor who has played Drunk Uncle, Snookie and Snagglepuss among other silly sots, Portlandia should be a playground — and one on which he will have plenty of company.